Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Forgotten Realms Annual 1: Waterdhavian Nights (Chapters 1 & 2)

The first and only Forgotten Realms annual was set before the events of the Time of Troubles.  It was a simpler time for Captain Omen and the Realms’ Master crew.  Captain Omen explains that Agrivar has informed him that the artifact called the Eye of Selune is being kept at a bar called Selune’s Smile.   Omen has decided that it is his duty to “collect” this artifact for the owners own good.

Captain Omen is concerned though because the crew’s recent adventures in Baldur’s Gate and Saelroon have left them less than welcome in those cities.  He asks everyone to be on their best behavior while they are in port.

Unfortunately, they arrive during what appears to be the Waterdeep equivalent of Mardi Gras.

Those ladies need some beads!

Agrivar sees his half-sister in the crowd and takes off after her.  The rest of the crew uses this as an excuse to scatter and see the sights.  Even Minder, who Omen expects will stick by his side, leaves when she sees a handsome young dwarf.

The comic then splits into chapters, each following a member of the Realms’ Master crew.

Chapter 1: Siblings

Agrivar follows his half-sister Kyriani through the crowded streets.  He sees her come to a door guarded by two ogres, who she gets past by providing a password.  Agrivar is concerned because she looks different than the last time he saw her and she has had problems with her “dark side” before.

Perhaps I should take a moment to explain a few things about Priam Agrivar’s half-sister.  In the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons comic book, Kyriani was the daughter of Ostus Agrivar and a drow sorceress.  When she was born her father called her Cybriana and she was left to be raised by elves.  While under the elves care, they noticed a growing evil in her and cast a spell that split her into two beings: Cybriana (who appeared as a blonde elf) and Kilil (who appeared as a drow). 

During the first story arc of the comic the two beings were merged back into a frizzy-haired brunette elf.  This is how she looked when Agrivar last saw her. 

This was the era of big hair

Sometime after that, Kyriani was split apart again.  This time she was reintegrated into a sexpot with raven black hair that had a silver streak in it.  You may remember her from when Omen was hitting on her in issue 24.

Once again, Omen will hit that!

So Agrivar is definitely right when he says she “looks different”.  Frankly, I am stunned he was able to recognize her from across a crowded street in Waterdeep.

Back to the story.  When Agrivar peeks in the window to see what his sister is up to, he sees an almost comically diverse gathering of evil creatures.

Yaun-Ti, Ninjas and Cultists. Oh my!

Kyriani appears to be collaborating with these cultists to help them locate the Eye of Selune.  About this time Agrivar is discovered spying by the ogres.  The drow elf believes this is a sign of Kyriani’s treachery, but she decides to prove her loyalty by disintegrating her half-brother.

Paladin dust should be a spell component

Well, I guess that is what he gets for ignoring Captain Omen’s request to be on his best behavior.

Chapter 2: Fireworks

The story now moves on to Ishi, who is shopping in the Waterdeep marketplace. A mischievous street urchin decides to play a prank on Ishi using fireworks.

Being from Kara Tur, at least Ishi knows what fireworks are

Ishi is pretty pissed, but before she can act the street urchin is caught by Vajra from the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons comic.

The monster manual entry is bit too meta for me

Realizing the street urchin is no threat, she lets him go after confiscating the rest of his fireworks.  Ishi and Vajra introduce themselves, and the two warrior women take an instant liking to one another.

Obviously this is the fat version of LuthorWhile they are talking, Vajra becomes distracted because she sees the cultists from chapter one walk by with a Gondsman dressed like Lex Luthor wearing a stupid hat.  Ishi offers to help her new friend find out what they are up to.

The pair follow them to a Temple of Gond where the cultists are negotiating for smoke powder (i.e., the Forgotten Realms equivalent of gunpowder).  The Gondsman is offering them enough smoke powder to blow up a small building, and it is implied that they plan to use it to blow up Selune’s Smile (the bar that the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons comic is based out of).

Obviously, there is no way that Vajra and Ishi are going to let this happen, so they bust in to break up the deal before it can be completed.  The two swordswomen make short work of the majority of the cultists, but the cult leader and escapes by summoning Chasme to fly him away (Chasme are the weird bug people who were with the cultists in chapter one).

Deciding not to leave anything to chance, Ishi uses the fireworks she confiscated from the street urchin to blow up the smoke powder reserves, taking out the entire Temple of Gond in the process!

To be continued…


  • This annual is the only team up between the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and the Forgotten Realms comic.  Pairing off members of the two teams does a good job of introducing the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons characters to readers who might not be familiar to them.
  • In the initial meeting with the cultists, it is somewhat awkwardly established that the drow woman cannot understand the language of the surface elves.  This obviously so she can’t tell what spell Kyriani is casting when she “disintegrates” Agrivar.  Luckily for Kyriani this is before the days of third edition where she could make a Spellcraft roll to figure out what is really going on.
  • Since Gondsmen are the “mad scientists” of the Forgotten Realms, I have a feeling that making the Gondsman leader look like Lex Luthor is not a coincidence.